House Calls Take the ‘Scare’ out of Healthcare for Seniors
What’s worse for seniors than a serious fall in the home requiring immediate medical attention? In some cases, one could argue that it’s a fall bad enough to create soreness and bruising but not seemingly bad enough for ER care. Increasingly, seniors are trying to “tough it out” when they shouldn’t. Reasons include the efforts required to seek care outside the home, potential cost, quality of the care they will receive as seniors and worries about how long they will wait to receive treatment.
Seniors face frequent fears about both acute and chronic health conditions. Today’s institutionalized healthcare environment has made it more difficult to decide whether or not to “worry it out” or take the extreme ER route. Luckily, companies such companies as DispatchHealth provide a convenient and affordable option by bringing high-quality acute care to the home.
Healthcare providers can prioritize the clock over patients
Luckily, house calls are taking the sting out of the situation by providing seniors affordable, fast, quality care in the convenience of their own homes. DispatchHealth’s urgent care model is responsive as well as respectful to seniors. Initial patient outreach to set up an appointment takes minutes. On average, the board-certified medical team shows up at a patient’s door within a few hours. Once there, the team spends an average of 55 minutes with the patient, allowing ample time to discuss the situation, evaluate conditions and provide treatment/recommendations.
Contrast this to an all-too-familiar office visit scenario addressed in a USnews.com (US News & World Report) article: “You show up five minutes early for your doctor’s appointment and wind up waiting 20 in the lobby and another 10 in the exam room. As you hear your doctor approach, talking in the hallway, you ready yourself. If you’re lucky, you have the next 15 minutes to voice your concerns, be examined, receive treatment recommendations and ask any questions.”
Seniors often worry more about cost than getting help
On top of this, cost worries are skyrocketing across the healthcare spectrum. Seniors, in particular, often weigh carefully the risk of seeking possibly costly care against its rewards.
In many cases, cost outweighs care in the final analysis for seniors, imperiling their care and leading to higher costs later — as this CNBC.com report attests: “Health care costs are spiraling higher, but patient visits to a doctor have been on the decline. A growing number of consumers are staying away out of fear of big bills. However, ‘untimely visits or delay of visits to the physician ultimately leads to the increased cost of care,’ the Cleveland Clinic’s CEO told CNBC.”
Urgent care cost plusses for seniors: affordability and predictability. Two key benefits of in-home urgent care are a price model that seniors can afford and the ability to determine what they will pay. DispatchHealth offers two easily understood pricing models: Seniors with Medicare/commercial insurance typically pay $6-45 out of pocket. Uninsured individuals pay a flat fee of $275.
Senior concerns wind up in the wastebasket
Although the healthcare system disrespects or disregards patient concerns in too many situations, the problem is magnified among seniors. Notes Seniorliving.org: “Despite the advances in medicine giving humanity longevity, our fate of living longer lives remain riddled with discrimination and prejudice. The reality is, today’s society treats older people unfairly often lumping all aged 65 and up into a group of old, frail, decrepit, forgetful and sickly beings separate from the rest of society.”
Why in-home care makes more sense than ever for seniors: Adding clarity and communication to a senior’s healthcare picture are two ways urgent care helps them get what they need most — straight, respectful answers about their next steps and on-site care administered the way it’s supposed to be, with compassion, sensitivity and dedication. As one of a growing number of urgent medical house call companies, DispatchHealth’s medical providers have significant experience evaluating acute injuries and illnesses as veterans of urgent care, quick care and emergency room services. And, DispatchHealth provides a complete follow-up report to a senior’s caregiver team — detailing both the house call itself and information about potential issues/hazards spotted in the home.